Fukushima Needs a Hero: Responsibility and Democracy in Japan
Author: Akio Matsumura
Date: August 20, 2012
Yastel Yamada is 73 years old. He seems a little tired after weeks on the road in the United States. He is trying to save Japan.
One of the first people I have met who can tell the inside story of the Fukushima accident, Yamada is concerned that work is not being done on the three nuclear reactors that melted down last year because the high radiation levels are still keeping TEPCO workers away. The crippled buildings are unstable, still contain nuclear assemblies, and present a long term threat to the people in the area. The cooling systems especially are a cause for concern. Mr. Yamada, founder and president of the Skilled Veterans Corps for Fukushima (Fukushima Genpatsu Kodotai), along with 700 members, want to help clean up the site.
Beyond cleanup of the site, Mr. Yamada doesn’t believe TEPCO has the technological capabilities to deal with the long term issues. TEPCO, he says, doesn’t believe this either. TEPCO’s plan, according to Yamada, is to contain the radiation in the next 40 years. He estimates they will need 50 years or perhaps much longer.
View the report here
Published: August 20th, 2012 at 11:11 pm ET